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Travel

Best U.S. Family-Friendly Destinations

June 4, 2014 7:00 AM

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Every summer, countless families pack up the car and head out for their annual family vacation. Some families enjoy exploring historical sites, turning a summer vacation into a learning experience, while others head out looking for excitement and entertainment during their getaway.

Some destinations are more family-friendly than others. Many family-friendly destinations offer plenty of activities, entertainment and attractions that are designed with families in mind. These destinations are also home to resorts and hotels that are designed to make a vacation seem stress-free, especially when traveling with little ones.

Here are some of the best U.S. family-friendly destinations.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Your Next Road Trip

seaworld orlando Best U.S. Family Friendly Destinations

SeaWorld, Orland (Credit, Heather Leigh Carroll)

Orlando, Florida

Home to more than just Walt Disney World, Orlando is the place where families can escape for a never-ending celebration in a tropical setting. The area’s theme parks – Disney, SeaWorld and Universal Studios – offer endless entertainment opportunities, including shopping, dining and plenty of shows and attractions. Orlando definitely knows how to treat families and keep those little ones happy. The area is also home to plenty of museums, smaller attractions and tropical gardens.

Here are the top five things to do while in Orlando:

Universal Studios and Universal’s Island of Adventure

Walt Disney World

SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove

Wet ’n Wild Water Park

Gatorland 

Related: Tips On Traveling With Kids

grand canyon   thinkstock Best U.S. Family Friendly Destinations

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Grand Canyon, Arizona

One of the largest natural wonders in America, the Grand Canyon is a popular destination for families looking to escape with Mother Nature. The canyon measures approximately 277 miles in length, with a width measuring up to 18 miles. The Grand Canyon is a destination that offers families a chance to experience the great outdoors while being amazed by the breathtaking beauty of the national park. There are plenty of activities for families to do here, including camping, horseback riding and hiking.

The top five things to do and see while at the Grand Canyon include:

The Grand Canyon Field Institute

North Rim Mule Trips

Grand Canyon Railway

Colorado River Rafting

Desert Point View Watchtower 

washington dc   thinkstock Best U.S. Family Friendly Destinations

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Washington, D.C.

A very educational and entertaining family destination is Washington, D.C. This area is home to many marbled monuments, museums and historical sites. Traditional vacations in Washington, D.C. include tours of the White House, other presidential monuments and, of course, a visit to one or more of the Smithsonian museums. For those looking for something besides the landmarks, there are plenty of other museums, art galleries and farmers’ markets scattered throughout the area.

The top five things to do when visiting Washington, D.C. include:

National Air and Space Museum

Lincoln Memorial

Washington National Cathedral

The White House and the Washington Monument

National Zoo 

golden gate bridge   thinkstock Best U.S. Family Friendly Destinations

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

San Francisco, California

Families can explore the brightly colored neighborhoods of San Francisco or relax with a picnic and take in the beautiful view the city offers. The city’s cable cars will take you just about anywhere you want to go, whether it be shopping, exploring or grabbing a bite to eat. Home to the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is one of the best places for families to visit.

The top five attractions families must see while visiting San Francisco include:

Golden Gate Bridge and Park

Cable Cars

Ferry Building Marketplace

Alcatraz Island

Muir Woods National Monument 

honolulu   thinkstock Best U.S. Family Friendly Destinations

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu is definitely a destination where families can escape from their day-to-day lives and experience a tropical getaway that is both relaxing and exciting. Kids will have plenty to do at the resorts, keeping them busy, while parents relax on a lounge chair and enjoy a day out by the pool or at the beach. Honolulu is home to historical sites, cultural events and endless white-sand beaches. It is no wonder why families make plans to escape to Honolulu while on vacation.

The top five attractions and activities for families to experience while vacationing in Honolulu include:

Waikiki Beach

Pearl Harbor and the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial

Waimea Bay

Surfing

Manoa Falls

Heather Landon is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.

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